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Return GITMO 2 now – Dr. Vladimir Antwi Danso to Akufo Addo

An International relations analyst, Dr. Vladimir Antwi Danso, wants government to take immediate steps to return the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees who are being hosted in Ghana back to where ever they came from.

“They were given two years to stay in Ghana, and the two years have elapsed, what next. And for me they have to leave the country. They must be made to leave by the tenets of the agreement. And agreement tells how its termination can be. So I don’t see why this thing cannot be done, because if they are not made to leave, the security implications are dire,” he told Umaru Sanda on the Point Blank segment on Eyewitness News on Tuesday.

Ghana’s controversial agreement with the United States of America for the two-year stay of the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, ended on January 6, 2018.
The government has said it is discussing the future of the two, who were in detention for 14 years after being linked with terrorist group Al-Qaeda.

Despite the concerns that met Ghana’s decision to host the two Yemeni men, their two-year stay passed without any incident.

But Dr. Danso insists that the two must leave the country because hosting them “has brought lot of insecurity to us already.”

“Remember when they were brought in, the Ghana government said the Syrians could come and visit their relatives here. How many Syrians came in and who are they? All these things have security implications. The government must come out and tell us,” Dr. Danso added.

Background

The move to host the two in the country was criticized by many observers including the then-in-opposition New Patriotic Party, who described the two as a security threat despite assurances to the contrary by the US.

Two citizens; Margaret Bamful and Henry Nana Boakye, further sued the former Attorney General and the Minister of Interior contending that the two were being hosted illegally.

The two were justified by the Supreme Court, which declared as unconstitutional the agreement between the Mahama government and the United States.

The apex court ordered the government to send the agreement to Parliament for ratification or have the two detainees sent back to the US.

According to the judgment, government needed the approval of Parliament before entering into any international agreement, just as in the case of the two detainees.

When the matter came up for discussion in Parliament, the House was informed that the agreement that was reached under a note verbale and Memorandum of Understanding.

A note verbale is a piece of diplomatic correspondence prepared in the third person and unsigned.

Parliament subsequently ratified the agreement for the two for detainees to be in the country for two year.

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EOCO apologises to Deputy EC boss after office invasion

The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has rendered an apology to embattled Deputy Chair of the Electoral Commission, Georgina Opoku Amankwah, after her office was invaded on Monday
Executive Director of EOCO, K.K Amoah, together with some armed Police personnel stormed the office of the Deputy EC Chair to force her out after she reported to work on Monday.

Mrs. Amankwah had been on leave since July 2017 at the insistence of the investigative agency following allegations of misappropriation of funds.

She was accused together with two other EC officials of engaging in financial impropriety with regards to the missing GH¢480,000 from the Endowment Fund at the Commission.

Her return to work was therefore considered as illegitimate by the EOCO, who sent officials to forcibly drive her out of her office.

The episode escalated into a scene after Mrs. Amankwah declined to be forced out, explaining that the EOCO had no right to take such an action.

However, both parties later reached an amicable settlement, with the Deputy EC Chair agreeing to stay home for the next 14 days as the issue is resolved.

In the latest development, lawyer for the embattled Deputy EC Chair Nana Boakye Adu Poku has revealed that the EOCO boss has rendered an apology to his client for the violent invasion of her office.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story, the lawyer explained that EOCO boss K.K Amoah had an in-camera meeting with Mrs. Amankwah, where he admitted that his outfit did not act in the right way and subsequently apologised for their treatment of the Deputy EC Chair.

“We actually indicated to the EOCO boss how unhappy we were with the style they came in, if indeed they wanted to have a conversation with us. That was not a way of starting a conversation.

“So we indicated to him how unhappy we were with their style which he conceded and apologized,” the lawyer added.

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Akufo-Addo Gov’t Sets GDP Growth Record

Ghana’s economy increased from 3.7% in 2016 to an estimated 7.9% in 2017, Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has stated.

According to the Vice President, this is the best annual real GDP growth for the first year of any new government since 1992.

Speaking at the opening of the 69th annual New Year School and Conference in Accra, Vice President Bawumia said the future looks bright, despite inheriting a gloomy economy.

“At the end of 2016: Real GDP growth was down to 3.7% in 2016 from 9.1% in 2008, declining growth in agriculture and industry, rising Unemployment, High Fiscal Deficits, Rising Public Debts, High interest rates, Accumulating Arrears on government obligations – The arrears validated as outstanding at the end of 2016 was GH¢3.1 billion, Weakening of the Banking system, Cancellation of teacher and nursing training allowances, Return to cash and Carry under NHIS, freeze on the hiring of Extension Officers in agriculture, High and pervasive taxes, and Corruption,” he outlined.

Against this background, the Vice President said, the President and the NPP government fulfilled key campaign promises such as the launch of the flagship Free SHS education programme, lowering of taxes, restoration of teacher and nursing training allowances, NHIS resuscitation, and creating jobs among others.

“At the same time the government committed in the 2017 budget to reduce the fiscal deficit from 9.3% to 6.3% of GDP,” he stated.

Dr Bawumia acknowledged the challenges the NPP government faced in its first year including revenue generation challenges, however, it has proven its critics wrong. “This was a challenge to the government,” he said.

Vice president Bawumia outlined a litany of achievements under the Akufo-Addo administration after a year in office.

“Economic growth has increased from 3.7% in 2016 to an estimated 7.9% in 2017. This is the best annual real GDP growth for the first year of any new government since 1992.

“Agriculture growth increased from 3.0% in 2016 to a projected 4.3% in 2017.

“Industry growth increased from -0.5% in 2016 to 17.7% at the end of September 2017 underpinned by increased petroleum production.”

Inflation, the Vice President added, declined from 15.4% in 2016 to 11.8% in 2017, while the Bank of Ghana Monetary Policy Rate saw a year-on-year reduction from 25.5 percent by end-2016 to 20 percent by end-2017.

“This is the largest single year reduction in the monetary policy rate since 2001and since the onset of the Bank of Ghana’s inflation targeting regime.

In addition, “Ghana’s external payments position has strengthened. The trade account recorded a surplus of $646 million (1.4% of GDP) as at September 2017 compared to a deficit of $2.0 billion (4.7% of GDP) for the same period in 2016.

“Our gross international reserves increased from $6.2 billion in December 2016 (3.5 months of imports) to $7.4 billion as at 24th November 2017 (4.1 months of imports).

“Ghana’s sovereign credit rating has improved with Fitch ratings changing Ghana’s B rating outlook from “Negative” to “Stable” while S&P changed Ghana’s outlook from Stable to Positive. The primary balance also posted a surplus for 2017 compared to the deficit recorded in 2017.

Touching on the thorny issue of debts, the former deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana signaled a major improvement.

“Ghana’s debt to GDP ratio declined for the first time since 2007 from 73% of GDP in 2016 to some 70% in 2017. The rate of accumulation of Ghana’s debt stock has also declined significantly. The annual average rate of debt accumulation of 36% over the last four years declined to 13.58% in the first four months of 2017.

Crucially, “Fiscal discipline has been restored and fiscal consolidation has taken hold. For the first time since 2006, the government of Ghana has been able to meet its fiscal deficit target notwithstanding some revenue shortfalls. The fiscal deficit target was to reduce the deficit from 9.3% of GDP in 2016 to 6.3% of GDP for 2017. The preliminary data for end December 2017 indicates that the fiscal deficit was some 5.6% of GDP in 2017. Many doubted the ability of government to achieve the target in light of revenue challenges.

“The question that we should ask is how can you inherit a budget deficit of 9.3% of GDP, proceed to reduce taxes, bring down inflation, bring down interest rates, increase economic growth, increase your international reserves, maintain relative exchange rate stability, reduce the debt to GDP ratio and the rate of debt accumulation, pay almost half of arrears inherited, stay current on obligations to statutory funds, restore teacher and nursing training allowances, double the capitation grant, implement free senior high school education and yet still be able to reduce the fiscal deficit from 9.3% to an estimated 5.6% of GDP? Quite simple, this is a remarkable achievement and this is what we mean by competent economic management” Vice President Bawumia declared.

Dr. Bawumia gave the assurance that 2018 will be far better judging from what government was able to achieve in its first year.

The New Year School is under the aegis of the School of Continuing and Distance Education under the College of Education. The 69th Annual New Year School and Conference is under the theme: “Job Creation for Accelerated National Development: The Role of the Private Sector” from Monday, 15th January 2018 to Friday 19th January 2018.

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Attractive Foundation Empower Women in Skill Acquisition

Ghanaian based non-government organisation (NGO), Attractive foundation last week trined women in vocations through skill acquisition.

The manager of the foundation yesterday in an interview said that women were the focal point of the NGO’s empowerment “because I believe empowering a woman means empowering the nation.”

He said the women were trained in vocations such as fashion designing, beading, Ankara craft, catering, make-up and music without financial commitment.

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“Kufuor’s Appointment As UMaT Chancellor Well-Deserved” – President Akufo-Addo

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has described the decision by the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, to appoint the 2nd President of the 4th Republic, John Agyekum Kufuor, as its first Chancellor, as well-deserved.

According to President Akufo-Addo, it is entirely appropriate that the former President, who was responsible for ensuring that the Western University College of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, through presidential assent on 12th November, 2004, becomes UMAT’s first Chancellor.

President Akufo-Addo stressed that “it is a well-deserved honour, given in recognition of the immense work you did, during your time as President of the Republic, not only for UMaT, but also for Mother Ghana. Ayekoo. I commend the authorities of the University for this admirable gesture.”

The President made this known on Friday, 12th January, 2017, at the Investiture of former President Kufuor as Chancellor of the University, at a ceremony held at the UMaT Auditorium.

Applauding UMaT for the important role it is playing in producing industry-oriented graduates in engineering, together with its research findings, President Akufo-Addo stated that UMaT puts Ghana, a country rich in minerals and with a thousand (1,000) year history of mineral exploitation, in a strategic position to be a global leader in mining and its allied industries.

He commended the University also for its contribution to the fight against galamsey through the training of four hundred (400) small scale miners, with an additional thousand (1,000) more set to be trained this year, and the manufacture of “Sika Bukyia”, a direct smelting kit for the recovery of gold without the use of mercury.

Government, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the President noted, intends to facilitate the manufacture and sale of ‘Sika Bukyia’ to all licensed small scale miners.

With Government determined to exploit the country’s bauxite and iron ore deposits, with the Ghana Integrated Bauxite and Aluminum Development Authority set to spearhead this, President Akufo-Addo was delighted about the progress made in a novel technology being promoted by UMaT, which involves the use of plastic waste to upgrade bauxite ore to yield 90% alumina, as against the present grade of 40% to 45%.

“As a result of this technology, the value of the ore will increase some tenfold. The research work being undertaken here is invaluable, and will assist greatly in our nation’s quest to transform our economy from a raw material producing and exporting one to a value-added, industrialised economy,” he indicated.

It is for this reason that President Akufo-Addo congratulated the Vice Chancellor, the staff and team of administrators, for sticking to UMaT’s core mandate of engineering education, to complement efforts to advance the National Policy of achieving 60:40 student ratio for the Sciences as compared to the Humanities, through the promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

“I wish to assure you that the Akufo-Addo Government will insist that the process of equipping UMaT with the requisite logistics, involving the rehabilitation and equipping of existing laboratories, and the construction of new buildings, that is currently ongoing, will be systematically pursued, to enable it deliver effectively on its mandate of teaching, research and service to the community,” he said.

The President continued, “I have been informed about the number of legacy projects on campus. The energetic Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, has assured me that, through the Minerals Development Fund, these legacy projects will be completed soon in commemoration of today’s event.”

With the Wassa Fiase Traditional Area donating 26 square kilometres of land to the University, for the construction of a 20,000 student capacity campus, President Akufo-Addo announced that “Government will give an annual special budgetary allocation of five million cedis (GH¢5 million) to the University for the realisation of the project.”

UMaT renamed

President Akufo-Addo congratulated the University Council of UMaT for its decision, in accordance with the Statutes of the University, to rename the institution after George Alfred Grant, the legendary Axim-born entrepreneur, ‘Paa Grant’.

“It is a most excellent decision, which has received the agreement of the President of the Republic, so that, once the parliamentary process has been completed, this University will be called the George Grant University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa,” he said.

The President explained that it is wholly fitting that “this great, modest man, who can lay legitimate claim to being the father of modern Ghanaian nationalism, should be properly honoured by a grateful posterity, i.e. by us who are the heirs and beneficiaries of the freedom he so valiantly fought for, especially by citizens of his native Western Region.”

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FUEL PRICES TO RISE BETWEEN THREE AND FIVE PERCENT – IES

The Institute of Energy Security has asserted that there will be a rise in the prices of petroleum products.

In a release copied to Ghanapoliticsonline.com, the IES states that fuel prices are expected to rise between 3% & 5%.

Read statement below;

14th January, 2018

FUEL PRICES TO RISE BETWEEN THREE AND FIVE PERCENT

REVIEW OF JANUARY 2018 FIRST PRICING-WINDOW

Local Fuel Market Performance
The first Pricing-window for January 2018 recorded interesting turn of events. The National Petroleum Authority’s (NPA) assurance of no price change at the fuel pumps was contradicted by a number of Oil Marketing Companies (OMC). Total Petroleum was the first to review prices upwards, followed by Shell (Vivo Energy), Petrosol, Nasona, Fraga Oil and SEL, from Ghs 4.49 to Ghs 4.67 for both Gasoline and Gasoil, representing a change of 4%. Total and Shell subsequently reversed their decision, currently selling at the previous price of Ghs 4.49 per litre. A large number of OMCs did not review prices at the pump. The national average prices for Gasoline and Gasoil currently is Ghs 4.47, with Benab Oil, Pacific, Lucky Oil and Zen Petroleum selling at the lowest price per litre at the pump.

World Oil Market Prices
Crude Oil prices continue to surge on the global commodity market, as Brent crude price currently averages at $67.70 per barrel, from a previous average of $63.78 per barrel, a rise of 6.12% within the last 14 days. Presently, Brent crude is selling at $69.87 per barrel; the highest price since December 2014.
Standard and Poor’s Global Platts benchmark indicates a jump in prices for both Gasoline and Gasoil. For the period under review, Gasoline prices recorded a change of 5.4%, moving from a previous average of $600.11 per metric tonne to close at $632.50 per metric tonne. Gasoil prices also recorded a 6.03% increase from a previous average of $568.72 per metric tonne.

Local Forex and Fuel Stock
The Ghana Cedi lost its value against the US Dollar. This is according to data compiled by IES Economic Desk from the foreign exchange market. The Cedi currently trades at Ghs 4.51 to a dollar, a 2.27% change from a previous rate.
In the last 14 days, total fuel imports received were 123,000 metric tonnes; 65,500 metric tonnes of Gasoline, 42,000 metric tonnes of Gasoil, 10,000 metric tonnes of ATK and 5,500 metric tonnes of LPG.

PROJECTIONS FOR JANUARY 2018 SECOND PRICING-WINDOW
With the indicators recorded; increases in Brent crude price, prices of finished products on the international oil market and the depreciation of the Ghana Cedi; the Institute for Energy Security (IES) expects these changed variables to impact negatively on fuel prices on the local market. The prices of Gasoline and Gasoil, as well as Fuel oil are likely to rise between 3 and 5%. It is clear the Price stabilization mechanism implored by the regulator may not be enough to forestall the persistent increases. It is important the government reviews the current Price Build-up and ensure the minimum strategic stocks are kept at all material times.

Signed: Richmond Rocson

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Police arrest suspects with bombs at Odorkor

Information gathered by Ghanadatabase.com indicates that the Odorkor Police have arrested suspects in possession of bombs and grenades.

The suspects are currently in custody as the police intensifies investigation. One of the suspects is to believed to be a member of ISIS

The matter has ignited comments on social media with people expressing concern about the safety of the general public.

A grenade is a small bomb typically thrown by hand. Generally, a grenade consists of an explosive charge, a detonating mechanism, and firing pin to trigger the detonating mechanism.The Odorkor Divisional Police command in Accra have arrested three individuals in possession of grenades, Kasapafmonline.com has gathered.

One of the suspects is believed to be a member of the dreadful terrorist group ISIS, police sources have said. They are currently in custody while investigations are ongoing.

The matter has ignited comments on social media with people expressing concern about the safety of the general public.

A grenade is a small bomb typically thrown by hand. Generally, a grenade consists of an explosive charge, a detonating mechanism, and firing pin to trigger the detonating mechanism.

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Isaac Adongo adjudged best performing minority MP in 2017

ISAAC ADONGO ADJUDGED BEST PERFORMING MINORITY MP IN 2017

Isaac Adongo adjudged best performing minority MP in 2017
A performance appraisal survey on members of parliaments (MPs) has adjudged MP for Bolgatanga Central, Hon Isaac Adongo, as the best performing minority MP for 2017.
The survey, conducted by indigenous research and investigation company, FAKS Investigation Services, found that of the 3,702 respondents sampled, 90.1 percent of them scored Mr Adongo as the best performer among the () MPs on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
He was followed by Hon Laadi Ayii Ayamba, MP for Pusiga, who scored scored 88.7 percent
Overall, the survey, which assessed the performance of some politicians and public servants in 2017, adjudged MP for Tamale South Constituency as the overall best MP in 2017.

First timer
FAKS Investigations said the survey was conducted between October and December and sought the opinions of Ghanaians as to which Ministers, Deputies, Regional Ministers, MPs, PROs, among others, had done exceptionally well and need to be recognised.
This is the sixth time that FAKS is announcing assessment results on the performance of politicians and public servants. Hon Adongo, although a first time MP had endeared himself to many Ghanaians, especially sympathisers of the opposition NDC, with his witty debates and superior arguments, on issues in the economy and governance.
His emergence as best performing minority MP makes it the first time that a representative of the Bolgatanga Central Constituency has been given such recognition. His predecessor and former MP, Hon Opam Brown Akolbire, was repeatedly ranked at the bottom in previous surveys.
Hon Adongo, a chartered accountant by profession, has been one of the few vocal MPs on the NDC side, taking on the government on a number issues bordering on its handling of the economy and governance.
It is understood that his approach to and understanding of issues, superior contribution to debates on the floor of Parliament and ability to proffer alternative policies in the year made him stand out among his peers.

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Rahim Banda named as Free SHS and Ghana Job Bank Ambassador

Ghanaian movie star Rahim Banda has been named as Ambassador for Ghana Job Bank and the Free Senior High School Scheme rolled out by Government of Ghana.

The announcement was made by Nana Aba Anamoah at a ceremony organized by Ghana Job Bank to unveil their Ambassadors.

Reliable information gathered by AttractiveMustapha.com indicates that Rahim Banda was officially appointed as the Free SHS Ambassador by the Ministry of Education last month.

JOB BANK is a platform for both public and private sectors to post their job listing in the job bank. To ensure credibility with the posting of jobs,

Attractivemustapha.com

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Maiden Ghana Herbal Awards held in Kumasi

The much awaited Ghana National Herbal Awards was successfully held at the Kumasi Golden Tulip on Saturday January 6th, 2018.

The Award seeks to promote made in Ghana products by exposing them to Ghanaians across the country and globally through different mediums.

The award ceremony is also an effort to market the goods and strengthen the economy. It is also aimed at encouraging the production of unique products and efficient service delivery.

Selection of awardees placed emphasis the impeccable results some individuals have achieved through commitment to business growth, professional excellence and community service.

Specific products that were adjudged by the consumers as embodying the highest standards of quality received the best Product Awards.

There were exciting performances by Kakyire Kwame Appiah, Kofi Nti, Mary Agyemang, Ernest Opoku jnr, Frank Mensah Pozo and many more.

Media houses and personalities including Dr Herbal of Atinka played major roles for the success of the program.

Below is the full list of winners

HONORARY AWARDS

Power Herbal Specialists – Best herbal clinic
Dr Edu Herbal Center – Best stroke hospital
Gaftram – Main pillar of the herbal fraternity
Dr Anastasia first female directorate
Department of herbal medicine KNUST was honored as first institution to run a degree programmed in herbal medicine
Category Winners

Taabea Mixture – Best malaria herbal medicine, Best herbal sales of the year, best herbal medicine of the year, charity award.

Givers Capsules – Best man capsules, Best capsules of the year, Best herbal package capsules, Best koo capsules

Kenoga Company Limited – Best distributor, Best herbal advertiser, charity award

Gifas Mixture – Best std’s herbal medicine, Best herbal advert of the year

G.p.c Mixture – Best herbal waist pains

Dank Natural Health Care Complex – Best body pains

Suzzy Herbal Centre – Best promising herbal star

Adonko Bitters – Best alcoholic sales of the year, Best alcoholic advert of the year

Bie Gya Bitters – Discovery alcoholic beverage

Joy Industries – Best herbal cream, Best alcoholic beverage, Best alcoholic package, Charity award

Adutwumwaa Herbal– Best herbal blood tonic

Fine Fine Herbal Soap – Best herbal soap

Antec Herbal Center – Spanish Garlic, Best herbal medicine for blood pressure, Best garlic bitters

Dependable Herbal Home – Best koo mixture, Best menstrual herbal medicine, Best herbal medicine with more products, Best lady care

Solak biochemist Limited – Best ulcer herbal medicine

click here for all the pictures

https://attractivemustapha.com/2018/01/08/maiden-ghana-herbal-awards-held-in-kumasi/

Ghanadatabase.com